This is a filmed version of Verdi’s Rigoletto. The staging of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle is excellent. Highly imaginative, accurate to Verdi’s story and filmed in the actual palace and river where the story is supposed to take place. This is a very atmospheric version of the opera, beyond of what can normally be presented in a theatre. The blu-ray image is crisp and the sound very good.
This must be Pavarotti’s best performance on record, both visually and vocally. There simply is nobody else to come even close to him on the role of the duke. Wixell sings a convincing Rigoletto, but nothing to write home about. Gruberova is simply dull.
Riccardo Chailly is not my favourite conductor, but the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra plays as usual superbly. This is an excellent version of Rigoletto, highly recommended.
The far more recent (2001) version from the Arenna di Verona with Leo Nucci as Rigoletto, is better sung and better acted than all the corresponding counterparts on this disc, with the big exception of the duke. As I said nobody can touch Pavarotti on this role!
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